The FCC has given final approval to a $30 billion takeover by the nation’s largest cable television company, Comcast, of the television and movie giant NBC Universal. The merger gives Comcast control of the NBC network, the Spanish-language Telemundo, cable channels including MSNBC, dozens of local television stations and the Universal film studio. The FCC vote was four to one, with Commissioner Michael Copps casting the lone dissent vote. Media democracy advocates have widely criticized the merger. Josh Silver of the group Free Press spoke to Democracy Now! on Tuesday.
Josh Silver: "The Comcast-NBC merger is going to increase prices for consumers, it’s going to make independent voices even more scarce on commercial television dials, and it’s going to cut out independent programming even further from the cable dial. Yesterday’s announcement of this merger flies in the face of President Obama’s stated commitment to oppose media consolidation when he was on the campaign trail, and it bodes terribly for the future of the internet. We expect to see higher costs for access, higher costs for cable programming, higher costs for internet access, and, at the end of the day, less choices for consumers and higher prices."